When you fall pregnant, you’ll find that all of a sudden everyone and their dog has an opinion on literally everything... whether you’re having a boy or a girl, the size of your bump, what you should be eating, where to give birth... normal social boundaries fly out the window and you’ll find complete strangers touching your belly uninvited. I once even have a colleague get o n her knees and press her ear up to my stomach without invitation! So here’s some of the common pregnancy comments that I think need to go in the bin, forever banished and never to be uttered ever again! What annoying unwanted comments have you received?
Commenting on how big a person‘s baby bump is totally inappropriate. You have no knowledge of whether the pregnant person you’re speaking to has insecurities about their weight/size, or the size of their growing baby. Plus it’s just damn rude. In no other circumstance would it ever be socially acceptable to make a comment on how big someone was! Would you go up to someone and say “oh wow your thighs are MASSIVE!”? No? So don’t comment on a pregnant person‘s size. NOT ok.
”Your bump is so TINY!”
Equally, commenting on how small a person’s bump is, is also not acceptable. Just as someone may have anxieties about how big they may appear, some people also have worries about how small they are, or whether baby is growing well and healthily. Making a comment on how small a person’s bump is could really affect a pregnant person’s mental health and cause unnecessary worry. Please don’t do it!
Horror stories about birth
I will never EVER understand why ANYONE would ever tell a pregnant person a negative story about birth, but unfortunately it happens all too often. Being pregnant can be a worrying time. You’re growing a whole new person, and like any new parent, you worry about whether that tiny person inside you is healthy and safe. Telling a pregnant person about your friend’s friend who had a horrific birth, or stories of still birth or miscarriage (and YES people do this to pregnant people, as I had not one but two separate completely idiotic people tell me stillbirth stories when I was pregnant second time round!) is not only unnecessary but totally and utterly irresponsible. Not only will it put the fear of god in to the person you’re speaking to, but it will also have a very real and physical effect on the progression of labour when they birth their baby. This is one of the basic principles of hypnobirthing, but know that we are exposed to enough negative imagery when it comes to birth through the media, without “friends” and family telling us how “when I gave birth to you, you almost split me in half haha”. Just DON’T! Keep the horror stories to yourself. And if you’re pregnant and someone starts launching in to a negative story, politely (or not so politely!) tell them to stop right there, you’d rather not hear what they’ve got to say, and walk away....
Was it planned?
I got this one a LOT when I told people I was pregnant with my third. Regardless of whether their baby was planned or not, it is never appropriate for someone to ask whether a pregnancy is intentional. For starters, you don’t know whether they’ve struggled to get pregnant to start with. It could be an extremely sensitive topic and the question could bring up all sorts of emotions. Secondly, it’s just bloody rude! What kind of response are you expecting when you ask someone this question? “No it wasn’t planned, we had unprotected sex after one too many glasses of wine and got pregnant by accident” or “yes it was planned. We’ve had a lot of infertility issues and have spent months of painful IVF treatments and lots of tears and money to arrive at this point, so yes it was very much planned!”. Either way, whatever response you get is likely to feel awkward and uncomfortable for the person you asked, so just don’t ask! It’s none of your business!
Have you had the baby yet? Has it arrived?
The last few weeks and days of pregnancy can be an anxious waiting game for most pregnant people. From full term at 37 weeks, a pregnant person has no idea if they have 5 days or 5 weeks left until baby arrives. Anxiety over whether they’ll go past their “due date” (in inverted commas because only a tiny percentage of babies are born on their due date) and stress about being booked in for an induction can make the final weeks difficult for some parents. Dealing with the added barrage of texts asking “is she here yet?” can be both irritating and frustrating. Be patient. When baby arrives AND the parents feel ready to announce baby’s arrival to a select few or the entire world, they will. Until then, respect their privacy and don’t send that text.
What annoying, unwelcome and unwanted comments have you had throughout pregnancy? Comment below and let’s educate people on what NOT to say to an expectant parent!